Death of Mr T Byrd of Aldington
As announced in our last issue, Mr Thomas Byrd of Aldington died after a very short illness in the week. He was out and about as usual on the morning but not feeling v.well in the afternoon & remained indoors. On Wednesday morning symptoms of bronchitis manifested themselves & he was attended by a Doctor. On Thursday a serious change for the worst was apparent and he passed away at noon.
Mr Byrd, who would have completed his 83rd year next month was the eldest son of Mr & Mrs T Byrd from whom he inherited considerable property at Badsey & Aldington. He was one of the first in the neighbourhood to recognise the need for the value of small holdings in the Badsey district & let out his property in small lots several years ago. This fact was gratefully remembered by his friends and neighbours in the district. He was always very much interested himself in the progress of the district & especially of his native village. He sat on the Evesham Board of Guardians for a number of years & at the first County Council Election he opposed the late Mr Isaac Averill for the representation of the Broadway Division. This was a memorable election & marked by great activity especially on the part of Mr Thomas Byrd & his supporters. During the closing months of 1888, and the early part of the following year, meetings were held almost nightly in the villages & Mr Byrd & his supporters were heartily received. The result of the Poll was a victory for Mr Byrd by a majority of 40 votes – the numbers being Byrd 339, Averill 299. Mr Byrd was returned unopposed at the elections of 1892, 3 & 8 but retired in 1901, his place being filled by the late Viscount Lifford. During the 9 years he sat on the County Council, Mr Byrd was a regular attendant at the meetings & was a useful member of a number of Committees although he did not intervene in the debates in the Council Chamber.
Some twenty years ago, Mr Byrd was placed on the Commission of Peace for the Council of Worcester and was for some years a regular attendant at the Evesham Bench. In recent years his advancing age has prevented his pursuing many activities & he has been seen much less in Evesham.
As a young man, Mr Byrd took part in the various forms of sport. He used to shoot but was more keenly interested in coursing than in any other branch. He owned and trained dogs which ran in many local meetings & he was frequently seen at the Broadway Coursing Meeting.
The late Mr Byrd married a Miss Smith of Bibury by whom he had a family of 2 daughters - Mrs A W Barrett of Sedgeberrow & Mrs Philip Bomford of Weston super Mare, & one son Mr Thomas Byrd of Aldington. His wife predeceased him some few years ago but his 3 children survive him.
Mr Byrd was a man widely known and highly respected for his honesty of purpose, open handed hospitality and generosity to those less favourably stationed than himself.
The funeral took place at Badsey Church on Saturday afternoon, Vicar Rev W C Allsebrook attending.
Mourners were Mr & Mrs T Byrd [son]; Mr & Mrs A W Barrett of Sedgeberrow [son in law & daughter] & their two daughters; Mr Phillip H Bomford of Exhall Court & Mrs Phillip Bomford of Weston super Mare [son in law & daughter]. There also followed Messrs Geoffrey New, E G Righton Jnr, A H Butler, A E Field [The Elm], H Fowler, H T Field, W H Thomas, W Keen & W Hartwell.
The County Police were represented by P C Colbourne of Badsey & P C Rose of Littleton. The bearers were Messrs David Wasley, W Lidsey, S Moore & J Field all old Aldington employees of the deceased. The coffin breastplate bore the inscription: Thomas Byrd died February 13th 1919 aged 82 years. There were no flowers by request.
Before commencing the business of the Evesham County Petty Sessions on Monday, Mr James Ashwin [Chairman] said he should like to express the great regret which was felt at the death of Mr Thomas Byrd who was a member of that Branch for a number of years. He was very regular in his attendance at one time and his advice was always valued by his colleagues.
He was a public man & a member of the County Council for a number of years & the country would be much poorer by his death.
With thanks to Thomas Byrd's great-granddaughter, Angela Barrett, for transcribing this article.